Genealogy sites link list

There are so many great sites out there these days that it can be daunting for someone to know where to start, or what to look for in a site to find what they need.

Then there are the pitfalls of sites that require an account with them. Some are free and some pay, and some limited-access free with full access for pay, but often one can look a great deal like the other to an outsider.

This, then, is a list of my favorite sites (all free for use) for those of you who want help in finding more information on your own family.

Site: My Heritage.com
Features: Free downloadable software, ability to record your family tree online with no software needed, search function
Type: Free account needed, free site, but software is upgradable to premium for a fee
Comments: I like this site, tough I don’t use their online family tree, as I already have an account at Geni.com that several family members use. The two most useful aspects to this site are the free software—which is nearly equivalent to Family Tree Maker in ease of use and function—and the search function both on the site and incorporated into the software itself. The search function in the software is actually of a higher quality than that of the site, so if you are in the market for genealogy software, I highly recommend checking out this site.

Site: Geni.com
Features: No free software, but the site itself is a free online genealogy program which allows you to link your tree to other users’ trees if you find a connection.
Type: Free, with premium upgrade options.
Comments: Aside from Family Tree Maker, this is my major piece of Genealogy “software.” Most of my family as I know it is recorded on this site, and I’m constantly doing my best to keep it updated. An excellent site for those who wish to do without software, as they’re constantly updating the site to make it more user friendly.
Warning--the search functions on this site seem disabled if you try to use them, but they are accessible with a free account, just not the complex search functions.
To get around the “premium only” search warning, here’s what you do. If you are searching for someone on your tree, type the name in the search box at the top right of the screen. When it starts to fill in the name, merely blot out the words that describe their relationship to you by pressing space after the end of the name. Once the relationship tag disappears, press enter, and that should take you to the results page.

Site: GenCircles
Features: Searches multiple family archives.
Type: Free
Comments: Searches through family trees submitted by users. Also has a connection to Family Tree Legends, a free genealogy software, though I have not tried this one out (yet). Judging from the screen shots, it is remarkably similar to Family Tree Maker, and includes a merging function not available in the Family Tree Builder program.

Site: Family Search.org
Features: Searches the LDS records for any records using a number of variables.
Type: Free site
Comments: This is probably the best place to start when looking for family information. LDS records are constantly being updated, and provide as much information from the original documents referenced as possible.

Site: Tribal Pages
Features: Allows for search of many family tree sites, with far more international representation than most other sites out there.
Type: This is a free site, but many members chose to hide some or all of the information there to keep the information private.
Comments: This can be a great resource for those looking for other family members to collaborate with. Sometimes all you’ll find is a name or two, but sometimes, you can find whole branches you didn’t know before. My second most-favorite site to look through.

Site: Family Tree Searcher
Features: Searches multiple databases using the information you provide, similar to the search done with the Family Tree Builder program that My Heritage.com provides.
Type: The site itself is free, though it accesses pay-only sites for information.
Comments: Many of the sites it searches on are partial or full-pay sites, so the information you get in return is often minimal at best. That said, it does save up to ten past searches so that you do not have to enter them again.

Site: Genealogy Today
Features: Another multiple-site search engine, though this one focuses mostly on American sites, with some Australian and Canadian sites as well.
Type: Free, though it does access some paid content
Comments: A good site, but a bit American-centric if your family hasn’t been in the states long.

Site: Genealogy.com
Features: Searches multiple databases and sites.
Type: Mostly pay, though it does still access a few free Family Tree Maker Sites that went up before Ancestry.com took over both.
Comments: Most of the records here are pay, but the personal family trees make it worth looking at this site every now and then, though the information gets less accurate as time goes on.

Site: Ellis Island
Features: Free search of all passengers recorded from 1892-1924.
Type: Free
Comments: A great site that has now extended the search function to just allow for search of a particular vessel.

Site: The World Bride Index
Features: A listing of brides and their maiden names for those looking for an elusive female ancestor.
Type: Free
Comments: This site is more miss than hit, but sometimes gems do turn up. Good when looking for a particular female ancestor.


Obviously, there are other sites out there, and I may add to this from time to time, but these are the sites I find myself going back to again and again for one reason or another.

Good luck, and happy searching, folks!

3 comments :

Ciara Eirikswif May 10, 2010 at 12:08 PM  

very nice list. thank you for sharing. I need to pass this along to my aunt. :D

myheritage May 11, 2010 at 7:22 AM  

We're so glad that you enjoy our web application!
Hope you've had time to check out our new features such as:
Timeline & Timebook : http://blog.myheritage.com/2010/03/new-on-myheritage-timeline-and-timebook-features/


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at your convenience.

Best,
sebastien@myheritage.com

Elf Flame May 15, 2010 at 10:44 AM  

SG - These are the ones I've had the most luck with, and I've actually had some luck because of a few of these sites in finding more ancestors. I hope your aunt has the same.

Sebastian - thank you! I've only recently started playing with your site and software, but I do like what I've seen, and I'm looking forward to playing with them more.

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About this blog

This blog is maintained by two sisters who have had a life long interest in geneology.
Mika writes here mostly about our family (Hansen, Hillinger, Bordewick, Park, etc), and her search for more information.
Shannon mostly uses this space as a place to make the many stories written about and by her husband's family (Holly, Walker, Walpole, etc) available to the rest of the family, present and future.

Our blog is named Oh Spusch! mostly because Shannon is bad at naming things. The first post I put up includes a story about the time Walker's great grandfather took his whole family out to see a play and the littlest kept saying "Oh! Spusch!" No one ever figured out what she meant by that.